secretleaders | How to build a $65b company, with Twilio Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Lawson

How to build a $65b company, with Twilio Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Lawson

Today’s guest is at the helm of probably the biggest company we’ve ever had on Secret Leaders. Jeff Lawson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Twilio, a cloud communication platform that helps businesses use everything from text to video calls in their sites and apps.

Since its founding in 2008, Twilio has grown to 4,500 employees, annual revenue of $1.74 billion, and is valued at $65 billion. Yup, $65 billion. Woof.

All this despite investors not being interested at the beginning which forced Jeff and his team to make a decision.

“When choosing between listening to investors and customers, we’re gonna choose customers. And we’re gonna let customers guide our actions. And if that works, then investors will follow suit. And sure enough, they did.”

But how did Jeff actually do it? How do you build a company like Twilio?

We chat about:

  • Learning how to start companies
  • How big companies work
  • How to reinvent yourself if you want to stay CEO
  • How to have difficult conversations
  • IPOing on the day of the Brexit vote


The Secret Leaders podcast features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

Have Your Say: